Our Story - Karma

Woman standing amongst sandstone carved columns at Qutub Minar, Delhi, India.

 

Karma......

A mysterious parcel arrived from India, as if from a different era - wrapped in a muslin cloth carefully handstitched to fit.

Inside was a very generous gift of purses from my Indian guide, to thank me for recommending him to other travelers and friends.

Now I faced a dilemma. I knew the guide could not afford to give such a generous gift, but neither would he accept payment from me.  What to do?  For some inexplicable reason, I sold the purses online and sent him the proceeds of the sale  Done! .... Or not.... For a month later, an even larger parcel arrived from India, containing even MORE purses.   

"Why didn't you just keep the money?" I asked.  He explained  "If you give one person the money, then only one person benefits.  But if you use the money to buy more purses from all the families that make the purses, then more people benefit, and you receive their blessings and thanks."

I could use some blessings and thanks, couldn't we all?   I was in....

And what timing!   The handicraft industry in India is traditionally tourism dependent. When India closed its borders due to the Covid pandemic, the market in handicrafts went to zero overnight. There was no work. These highly skilled embroiderers, most with over 25 years experience, were forced to work in shoe factories or sell vegetables in the streets to survive.  I heard the alarming news that this venerable fifth generation embroidery house might be forced to close. 

I asked how I could help.  If you lose one generation of artisans, you risk losing the entire art form. For who will teach the next generation?

"Send us work" they replied. 

So, If the world could not come to India, then India must go to the world.  I created this website for the artisans, so that the whole world would see their amazing work, and to provide them economic diversity and stability.

I am inspired by the amazing talent and creativity of the zardozi artisans of India. I am on a mission to share the beauty and complexity of zardozi embroidery with the world and to preserve this remarkable art form. 

It gives me great joy that, because of your support through this website, the embroiderers in the atelier have all returned to their beloved embroidery.  And we continue to support over 100 families with donations of much needed food staples.

When you purchase an item from our artisans, you receive not only a stunning work of art that makes you feel beautiful and confident, you also receive the blessings and thanks of the artisans, for investing in their talent, for honoring their legacy, for providing their livelihood, and for ensuring the continuity of their craft. 

Karma. It is real. I know it.  Find out for yourself....

Namaste.

Roma